Interview: Terry Jones - Digital Disruption & Innovation Expert Who Founded kayak.com
Terry Jones is a keynote speaker above the rest. He is an expert on digital disruption and innovation, topics that are vital to corporate audiences hoping to outperform their competitors and react to technological advancements.
We recently sat down with Terry to discover how entrepreneurs can recreate his global success. From building innovative teams to standing out in a competitive, digital market, do not miss our latest interview:
Q: What advice would you give to companies wanting to build a culture of innovation & create a more innovative team?
“I built Travelocity.com and, a lot of people don't know, I built it inside American Airlines; a multibillion-dollar company.
“Innovation in a large corporation is about experimentation, and management accepting failure. You have to fail fast, and you have to experiment. You have to watch other organisations to see what happened, why there were errors made and how you can improve using that.
“You also have to build the right team. Innovation is about culture and teamwork. Culture is about risk-taking, experimentation and accepting failure. Teamwork is about hiring people who are glass half full people, people who aren't like you, who will argue with you. People who accept risk and want change.
“You can find those people today in your company somewhere, even if you aren't hiring. So those are the key messages for innovation.”
Q: What piece of advice would you give to young entrepreneurs entering the professional landscape?
“Well, I gave a speech called ‘Journey of an Entrepreneur’ which looks at start-ups through the lens of why they fail.
“The number one reason is no market need. Nobody really wants your product. So being able to pivot and change is critically important. You have to fight for a long time, but when the market says no, you have to listen. You are always selling as an entrepreneur, whether you're raising money, selling your idea, selling to a team – selling is really critical.
“So, make sure somebody really wants your product and hire the best team you can find. Rock stars hang out with rock stars, they want to be on a winning team. So, don't hire your best friend, hire the best person.”
Q: How can brands stand out in a competitive market?
“You stand out by having an amazing product.
“What did you think of the latest Tesla advert you saw? You've never seen one. They don't advertise their product, because they don't have to advertise.
“Until recently when they went public, you never saw an advert for Airbnb. At Kayak, we didn't do any advertising at all until we went public, and our product was just better.
“It’s about the user experience. If they have an amazing experience, that's how you stand out. Word of mouth is much more powerful than word of mouse.
“Sharing over the internet is much more powerful than advertising. There is nothing wrong with advertising, but having an amazing product today and having it become viral is the best way to break out.”
Q: What is the secret to capturing & maintaining audience attention in the digital era?
“Today, of course, you have to have an amazing product. You have to build fanatical fans. People say, ‘why should I have Facebook friends?’ - because they’re your friends! And do you know what they want? They want access to good deals, and they want to know about new products because they'll tell their friends. You have to be everywhere on all points of advertising, whether it's outdoor, physical, social, or Google - you have to tell your story.
“It's about storytelling because today’s brands are about experience. If you create a unique experience people want to talk about it, it creates a buzz which is how you get attention. For example, ‘I want to tell you about the experience I had with my Tesla’.
“It’s also important to respond to customer needs like Delta Airlines for example. They responded to customer needs by saying, ‘we're all about COVID-19, we understand the need for safety. You can come here’.
“Or like Airbnb, who changed their search during COVID-19 to emphasise rural properties because they realised nobody wanted to be in a city. This helped their IPO and now they're worth umpty billion dollars – I think it’s around one hundred billion.
“So be responsive, understand how the consumer has changed, and just build an amazing experience, then it's easy to advertise.
“My dad worked in the advertising business and I remember asking, ‘Dad, why are your biggest client’s beer and cigarettes?’, and he said, ‘because they're undifferentiated, they have to spend tons of money because you can't tell the products apart’. So, if you make a product that's so great, you’ll need less advertising to get attention.”
Book Terry Jones
Terry Jones is a powerful addition to corporate events, industry conferences and webinars alike. His globally renowned knowledge of innovation and disruption make Terry a highly sought after keynote speaker, hired to transform a business’ workplace culture. As the founder of Travelocity and Kayak.com, Terry understands the approach required to grow a successful business.
Jack Hayes was appointed Director of the Champions Speakers agency in 2012 becoming one of the youngest Directors in the UK. A year later, Jack became a founding member of the European Association of Speakers Bureaux (EASB) collaborating with speaker... Read more
Champions does not speak for or claim to represent all the individuals listed on this website as the exclusive booking agent or agency unless specifically stated. Acts listed on this site are for informational purposes only.